Digital forms of performance assessment

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Australian Council for Computers in Education


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Education / Centre for Schooling and Learning Technologies




Newhouse, C. P. (2010). Digital Forms of Performance Assessment. Proceedings of 21st Australiasian Computers in Education Conference. (pp. 8p.). Melbourne. Australian Council for Computers in Education. Available here


In the developed world a very small proportion of work tasks are done using paper and pen and yet most high-stakes assessment in schools continue to use this primitive technology. While employers and community leaders call for schools to produce students with 21st Century skills and deep conceptual understanding of content the main driver of curriculum and pedagogy, assessment, continues to focus on 19th Century skills and shallow recall of content. In the past it has been considered too difficult to reliably and manageably assess large cohorts using approaches more valid than on paper. The range of maturing digital technologies for handling multimedia now provides opportunities to address this disparity. This session will report on the first year of a three-year project investigating the use of digital technologies to represent student work for high-stakes summative assessment. The project has used a database portfolio system linked to online marking tools and has trialled the use of the comparative pairs method of marking in four senior secondary courses. In 2008 the project involved 21 teachers and their senior secondary classes studying one of Applied Information Technology, Engineering Studies, Italian, or Physical Education Studies.

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